Days 17 & 18 – Two for One

Ok, I’m cheating. Two days combined into one. Yesterday I felt like hammered dog poop. Quite the visual because one has to wonder as to the consistancy of said poop, but trust me… it was ugly. Yesterday I went to the doctor for what I thought was going to be the ugly testing… no.. just kind of a painful poke and prod that I’m still trying to get over. The uber-ugly testing actually occurs next week. Local anesthetic and a 2.5 hour procedure is involved. If the tests are as others have told me about, I would prefer to just not go there. Sucks.

Ok… let’s lose some of the negativity for now at least. Sometimes I swear I sound like my mother and that’s bothersome. I really don’t mind being sarcastic or cynical, but negative is one of the things I’m really trying to work on in this 142 days.

Something positive. Girl Scout Cookie time!!!

I’m sure there is something cosmic about the way Girl Scout cookies fall right in line to sabotage new year resolutions; however, the yummy goodness (if eaten in moderation) can be a life saver for many people. I have and will probably always have a weakness for Thin Mints – they me want to sing and dance. In fact, I could right now because the guys aren’t here to make fun of me doing so. (Insert silly looking jig here.) I got two boxes this morning, some of which may or may not make it all the way home. However, the boxes have been in my possession for almost four hours and I haven’t even cracked open the box nor the bag in which they were delivered in. See… already showing signs of progress for a healther lifestyle, eh? However, I am salivating with the mere thought of a Thin Mint.

I’m not blue and fuzzy, but I think we can all agree at this point that this little fella and I have something mutually in common. However, I just want to state for the record I am nobody’s puppet.

Speaking of puppets… Did anyone watch the state of the union last night? Personally I had better things to do than to listen to El Presidente open his maw. However, the SoU address was posted on the White House website and I thought I would make a comment. I think President Obama is an idiot. And here we go with a rant / bit of negativity.

“Thanks to the tax cuts we passed, Americans’ paychecks are a little bigger today. Every business can write off the full cost of new investments that they make this year. And these steps, taken by Democrats and Republicans, will grow the economy and add to the more than one million private sector jobs created last year.”

Excuse me, but did I miss something here? Because I am not making more money and after discussing this matter with the guys I work with, neither are they. Because of the change in the tax laws, my paycheck was shorted about $20 a pay-period. At the end of the year, that means the government has gotten another $520 of my hard-earned money. IF the federal government would quit spending money they don’t have and if congress would just suck it up and say “enough already” then the economy might just turn around.

El Presidente also touted the fact that America’s education system sucks. It does suck. We lack behind so many other nations in the world. I attribute this to many things… but first… the part that caught my eye and ticked me off – he was discussing the costs of a college education.

“Of course, the education race doesn’t end with a high school diploma. To compete, higher education must be within the reach of every American. (Applause.) That’s why we’ve ended the unwarranted taxpayer subsidies that went to banks, and used the savings to make college affordable for millions of students. (Applause.) And this year, I ask Congress to go further, and make permanent our tuition tax credit –- worth $10,000 for four years of college. It’s the right thing to do. (Applause.)”

Ok… my oldest daughter wants to be a vet – to help animals that need it. A college education for her will run about $85,000. Does anyone seriously believe that $10K is really going to help with that? Why don’t we actually implement tuition freezes for awhile. Colleges can certainly deal with not building any new buildings for a couple of years. As a college guidance counsellor told me in the fall of 2010 when I questioned why I HAD to take algebra when I have not used it in the 20 years it had been since I graduated high school, “Colleges are in the business to make money.”
Yeah… lemme tell you about it. That $10K that the president is proposing is a drop in the bucket and college costs are still out of reach for many Americans. For me to go to school at WTAMU here in the Texas Panhandle… Here’s what I have to pay…

For details of cost by residency (Texas and border counties resident, border state resident, non-resident and international) by semester credit hour, please click here for Cost of Attendance. Amounts shown below are the rates for Fall Semester 2010.

Statutory Tuition
Statutory tuition rates are set by the Texas Legislature. The rate for Texas residents is $50 per semester credit hour (minimum of $120 per semester; $60 per summer session). The non-resident rate for the 2010-11 academic year is $360 per semester credit hour.

Designated Tuition
A mandatory tuition ($102.51 per semester credit hour for 1-11 hours; $1,435.14 for 12-18 hours; $102.51 per semester credit hour, over 18 hours) for operations of the University, scholarship set-asides and building upkeep and improvements.

Health Fee
A mandatory fee ($38 per semester, $19 per summer session) for the operation of a student clinic on campus.

Student Service Fee
A mandatory fee ($16 per semester credit hour –– maximum of $198 per semester, $96 per summer session) distributed by the Campus Student Fee Committee for various campus services and organizations.

Student Center Complex Fee
A mandatory fee ($8 per semester credit hour –– maximum of $96 per semester, $4 per semester credit hour–maximum of $48 per summer session) for operation and maintenance of student centers.

Technology Fee
A mandatory fee ($11 per semester credit hour) to provide, operate, maintain and staff facilities and equipment that helps promote computer literacy among the entire student body.

Traffic Safety Fee
A mandatory fee ($1 per semester, $2.50 per summer session) to maintain and repair campus traffic controls.

Records Fee
A mandatory fee ($15 per semester, $7.50 per summer session) to combine drop/add fees, transcript fee, graduation fee and ID card fees and to support the offices providing these functions.

Rec Sports Fee
A mandatory fee ($70 per semester, $35 per summer session) to finance, construct, operate, maintain and improve recreational sports facilities and programs.

International Education Fee
A mandatory fee ($4 per semester) for international student exchanges and study abroad programs.

Library Fee
A mandatory fee ($4 per semester credit hour) for the ongoing operational expenses of the Cornette Library.

Washington, DC Intern Fee
A mandatory fee ($1 per semester) to assist students participating in approved internships in Washington, D.C.

Intercollegiate Athletic Fee
A mandatory fee ($20 per semester credit hour – maximum of $240) distributed by the athletic director for all intercollegiate athletic activities and scholarships.

Advising Fee
A mandatory fee ($35 per semester; $17.50 per summer session) for advising activities of all students at the University.

Transportation Fee
A mandatory fee ($10 per semester) to operate and maintain shuttle service for the campus and parking spaces/lots.

Look at all the freakin’ “MANDATORY FEES” that I (or anyone) have to pay to attend school there each semester. I started adding it up and after I got to $400 a semester, I quit – some of the fees are for each semester hour… if you are taking a full course load of say 15 hours, that’s unreal and a load of bullshit.

Ok… done with the rant, but I’m willing to bet you can tell I can go on and on … and I want to, but won’t. That’s the problem with me blogging, I’m sure I can channel my mother and work up a rant John McEnroe would be proud of… but I won’t. I will just leave it at rest and experience the power of the Woo-Sah…

More later from this rebel…

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